After placing second in Class 5A at the Western Heights regional, expectations for the Piedmont cheer squad were running high. “We felt we performed better than we scored, but as long as the girls happy with their performance, that’s what matters,” coach Ashley Dodson said.
Piedmont beat rival Deer Creek by one point at the contest in Western Heights, but Deer Creek took fourth at state.
“It’s always weird when you score higher than another team at one contest, and then you flip-flop later,” Dodson said. “You never really know why the judges score things the way they do.”
Cheerleaders are scored in 15 different categories; including sportsmanship, spirit, voice control and stunts.
“Our girls really excelled in their stunts this year,” Dodson added. One of their more complicated stunts from state was a heel stretch arabesque double down. This complex stunt involves the cheerleader grabbing her ankle and holding it near her head, similar to a high kick, then swing it down into a arabesque stretch, the stunt is then finished with a twist dismount. “It is a really complex stunt.”
This year’s squad was made up of 16 girls, including six seniors. “We were mostly seniors and sophomores this year,” Dodson said. “We’re really going to miss the seniors after they graduation, but there are a lot of great girls on the squad.”
The team has been practicing everyday for about two hours. With the help of their choreographer, David Owens, they have gotten their challenging routine to the level it is now. “Having David around to help prepare the girls has been great,” Dodson said.
The competitive cheer season isn’t over yet for Piedmont. The squad will be travelling to Dennison, Texas on January 8-9 for the National Cheer Association Nationals Competition. “The judging style is largely the same at NCA Nationals,” Dodson explained. “The girls get to have a bit more fun at NCA competitions, though. They get to do a dance and a cheer with music.”
This Saturday, Oct. 9, the Piedmont cheer squad is hosting a Kiddie Clinic for girls from Pre-Kindergarten to sixth grade. The clinic will start at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. and it will take place at the high school cafeteria. For the $35 clinic, the girls get a t-shirt, a picture with the mascot, and they get to learn a dance that will be performed at halftime of the Oct. 21 Piedmont – Bishop McGuinness game. Interested parents and students can pick up permission slips at their school office or in the high school office. There will also be a clinic during basketball season.